(Record file photo)

Administrator to oversee B.C. seniors’ home in wake of allegations of abuse, neglect

Island Health reports dozens of violations and delays at Comox Valley Seniors Village

A temporary administrator has been appointed to oversee a seniors’ home on Vancouver Island after a number of violations were found to have been committed, including disease outbreak and neglect.

The Island Health Authority said Monday that “numerous” routine and complaint-based inspections were conducted at the 136-bed Comox Valley Seniors Village in Courtenay, and “wide-ranging and stringent” restrictions were placed on its license in June.

But three months later, officials still found an “unacceptable” number of violations of the Community Care and Assisted Living Act, and too long of a delay to address them.

“Due to the operator’s inability to meet the care expectations outlined in legislation, the board of directors has taken the extraordinary action to appoint an administrator to manage the facility,” said board of directors chair Leah Hollins in a news release.

Susan Abermann, a past leader of Island Health’s residential care services and executive director of another facility with the same owner as Comox Valley Seniors Village, will serve as administrator for six months.

The care home is owned by Retirement Concepts, which was sold to a Chinese company, Anbang Insurance Group, in 2017. The Chinese government took control of Anbang’s assets in February 2018.

READ MORE: Founder of Chinese company behind 21 B.C. seniors’ homes gets 18 years for fraud

The authority’s medical health officer, Dr. Charmaine Enns, filed a report outlining 45 inspections and investigations conducted from March 1 to Aug. 23 of this year – an amount she called “exceptional.”

All but five of the 35 of the completed examinations identified violations, while 10 others remain in progress, related to disease outbreak, physical and emotional abuse, neglect, insufficient staffing, improper record-keeping, and aggression between residents.

RELATED: Province taking over seniors’ home care in southern B.C.

“This represents a widespread, systemic failure on the part of the licensee that will not be remedied by isolated responses to single contraventions,” Enns wrote.

“There are reasonable grounds to believe that currently there is a risk to the health and safety of persons in care at the facility.”

Don Broten, 85, has mixed dementia and has lived at the home for more than three years. In July, he nearly died after an outbreak of parainfluenza wasn’t recognized until the last minute.

“The system does work. It works long and slow and painfully, but it does in the end work,” said his wife, Delores, who started a letter-writing campaign to draw attention to problems.

“If they manage to keep the improvements that we’re looking for, there’s no reason for him not to live a lot longer.”

Anyone with concerns about conditions at a care facility should keep records and report them, she said.

“[The problems were] much bigger and more broken than we realized.”

KEEP READING: B.C. Seniors Advocate questions labour shortage in care homes

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

‘A bag full of garbage every 15 metres’: Surrey industrial area filled with trash

Local workers looking to recruit business, raise funds to help dispose of litter

Surrey boy living with congenital heart disease to speak at local Tedx event

Mason Vander Ploeg will be speaking on saving the oceans

Survey suggests 83 per cent of Surreyites ‘favour a referendum’ on policing transition

Survey was conducted by Pollara Strategic Insights on behalf of the National Police Federation

Racist graffiti sparks Cloverdale man to renew calls for City to clean up street

Hate message the latest garbage dumped at the end of 176th Street

VIDEO: Behind the scenes of turning newspapers into digital archives

Kelowna Capital News donated materials dating from 1980 to 2000

Landlord ordered to pay $11K after harassing B.C. mom to move days after giving birth

Germaine Valdez was pressured to move just a few days after giving birth by C-section to her child

Heart attacks strike B.C. husband and wife just over one year apart

Courtenay couple share personal stories to bring awareness to heart month

‘Nothing surprises us anymore:’ U.S. border officials find brain in package

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents found the brain packed in a glass mason jar in a Canada Post shipment

VIDEO: Giants winning streak now stands at 11

Team erased a 5-2 deficit by scoring every five minutes

Fiery collision involving truck closes Highway 1 at Three Valley Gap

Drivers should expect major delays and congestion; estimated time of re-opening is 2 p.m.

B.C., Ottawa sign sweeping 30-year deal for northern caribou habitat

West Moberly, Saulteau co-manage new protection on two million acres

Eyes on police after Trudeau orders blockades torn down, injunctions enforced

The RCMP in B.C. have sent a letter to the traditional leaders of the Wet’suwet’en Nation

B.C. massage therapist suspended following allegations of sexual misconduct

While suspended, Leonard Krekic is not entitled to practice as an RMT in B.C.

Most Read